Thursday, April 27, 2006

Drilling for ....... Baking Soda?

Im back up here in (yep, you guessed it) Colorado on a project for a company called Natural Soda. They are actually drilling into the largest commercial natural soda resurve in the Western Hemisphere! About 2000 feet below the surface there is a huge reserve of natural baking soda. It is exactly the same as the stuff you get at the grocery store for making cookies and stuff! To get it out, they drilled two horizontal wells through it, and when finished, they will pump hot water down one of the wells which will mix with the baking soda and wash it out. They will then pump the water back up the other well and about a mile down some pipes (like the one going off the left side of the picture above) to their processing facility. The water/baking soda mix then enters a giant centrifuge where it is dried. After the water has been removed, it is packaged for anything from baking to livestock feed.
Unfortunately, they are still using a drilling rig on this project, which means everything moves slowly. I arrived here on Tuesday night and might be working by this evening. There is always something to wait for on a drilling rig! Luckily, we are just down the road from a giant Shell project, so John (other SDI hand) and I snuck into their camp for some really good dinner yesterday.
The weather is beautiful here in Colorado, btw - sunny and warm!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Working Overhead

Wow, putting drywall on the ceiling is the worst! Luckily, I had my pops down for the weekend to give me a hand. We managed to finish all the electrical (including adding several home runs for future use) including hooking up the new panel in the garage. We also built the header between the living and dining rooms and even got the old wall heater taken out. It is nice to have a ceiling with insulation and lights that work! Hopefully I will get a few more weekends home soon so we can finish getting everythig put together.
Another HUGE benefit was that Pop brought down his gas weed whacker and whacked the entire yard (which was nearing waist-deep in some areas). I think I might have to get one of those someday! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Looking for BP's Pot of Gold

Well, after a few beautiful few days here in Durango, the weather has begun to turn a bit sour. This morning I was greeted with hailstorms, heavy rains, and high winds. Actually, I came out of the MWD trailer at dawn after being up for about 27 hours to find the sweet rainbow above! It was a full bow and even had a faint second rainbow above it.
We continue to drill in the coal out here, although I expect we will finish the first lateral section of this well sometime late tonight. Then I am hoping for a day off to service some equipment that the careless operators from Texas have left behind before I have to run a gyro orientation. If the rig doesn’t have any more delays, I will probably have to shut it down until parts arrive from ATA that I ordered today.
I received word that my stay in Colorado may be extended by a trip up to the Grand Junction/Glenwood Springs area. They are having some difficulties up there and could use my help. (Honestly, I think it is yet another case of lazy operators who don’t want to think for themselves, but hey – it all pays the same!)

Monday, April 03, 2006

San Diego, Mexico (Again), Colorado (Again)

Andrea and I went down to San Diego for a quick trip across the border for some traditional Langosta with her friends from the lab where she works. It was quite a whirlwind trip – we left Paso Friday at about 7:30 p.m., getting into San Diego at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday. We took Andrea’s Civic to Puerto Nuevo, BC via Tiajuana. No major problems while in Mexico (except for one rather large crater, err...pothole! – Sorry Andrea!)
We popped into a nice little restaurant with a view of the Pacific (and even saw some whales) and had all the lobster we could eat.
After a rather arduous crossing back into the US, we went into Downtown San Diego for dinner and a few drinks and dancing. Unfortunately, I had to leave the party a little early to catch a flight out of San Diego Airport at 9am. (This was exceptionally painful due to the whole “Spring Forward” thing…) I managed to make it into Durango Sunday afternoon for my third trip to the area in as many months. I brought my ski clothes this time, but unfortunately Durango Mountain Resort had its closing day yesterday, so if I want to go skiing, I will have to hit Wolf Creek Pass (1.5 hours) or try for Telluride or Aspen. In reality, it is looking like I am going to be pretty busy here for the next 10 or so days, so I probably won’t be able to hit the slopes. Oh well – wishful thinking!